Nana Cardoon is an urban farm and learning center located on the northern edge of Oregon’s fertile Willamette Valley.
In establishing Nana Cardoon our intent was to create a place where we could share our food knowledge and experiences with the community, whether near or far. To accomplish this we hold workshops, hands-on demonstrations of planting, cultivation, harvesting and seed saving as well as preparation and preserving of the crops. Each step of the way we are engaged in community outreach, mentoring people of all ages and skill levels.
Nana Cardoon offers a rich learning experience through hands-on projects, lively discussions, informative presentations, and tours throughout the farm.
“Visitors find themselves immediately immersed in a world overflowing with entwining vines, tomatoes ripe and ready to be eaten, trees heavy with heritage apples, plums and peaches, an open-air kitchen offering spicy peppers, a batch of mouth-puckering kefir, plump chicken smoking on the grill, sour dough bread baking in the earth oven, and a comfortable table to gather around to share a meal. Everywhere they turn, in every corner, along every path, something waits to be discovered, explored, and learned.”
Cheryl Brock, Slow Food USA Regional Governor, Friend and Frequent Visitor
Our farm is an expression of methodologies we have studied and farms we have visited in the Americas and abroad. We use organic methods in farming and orchard management, supported by biodynamic and permaculture techniques and premises. We raise heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables, striving for nutrient dense produce using these diverse methods.
We are seed savers. We participate in the local and international conversation regarding agricultural biodiversity. We believe in Seed Heritage and that seeds belong to people, not multinational corporations.
Ingredient Integrity –Heritage Grains and Beans
Nana Cardoon farms production amounts of Rye and Red Fife, Harry’s Red, Triticale and Maris Widgeon wheats as well as a variety of legumes. Additionally, wheat, barley and oat trials are ongoing. All Nana Cardoon bean and grain production is used for on-farm events as well as the Nana Cardoon home pantry. We are actively involved in developing a new infrastructure for production and milling of locally grown grains, perhaps leading to a local bakery.
Respecting and Preserving Food Traditions and Flavor Memories
We put extra effort into setting a beautiful outdoor kitchen and table using traditional cooking vessels and serving pieces we’ve gathered from our travels and here at home. This knowledge is woven into all of our workshops and the focused subject of some such as basket-making and carving of spoons.
Nana Cardoon is an active member of a local seed savers group and serves on Slow Food International’s Ark of Taste committee whose mission is to identify and champion heritage foods.
“One of the most memorable moments in discovering the possibilities of food at its purest was at the Rustichella d’Abruzzo olive oil facility where we were honored to taste his first press oil on a piece of freshly baked bread, still warm from the oven. To me this developed another treasured food memory and a yardstick defining the perfect taste of fresh oil.” Richard White